Inspiration to start her own digital consulting business first struck Kaley Saxton, a Bridgewater College Master of Arts in Digital Media Strategy (MDMS) graduate, during her Consulting Strategies course (DMS 541).
Through a business she started as a student at BC, Saxton Strategies, LLC, Saxton ’19, M ’20 provides an array of digital and creative services including developing strategies for small businesses to elevate their digital appearance. The wide range of clients Saxton has worked with through her business coupled with her knowledge from the MDMS program led to her being hired full-time as the Digital Experience Manager at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community in Harrisonburg, Va.
“One thing VMRC said they liked about me during the interview process was the way I was able to apply my professional experiences and research skills to challenges that they needed help working through. It was unlike any of the other candidates. I attribute this positive interview feedback to the courses I took at Bridgewater,” Saxton says.
VMRC is a continuing care retirement community. One of Saxton’s main job responsibilities is to manage a digital app that residents use and educate residents on how to use technology and devices. In addition, she makes videos, turns in-person events into digital gatherings and collaborates with different offices on how to enhance experiences digitally.
“It’s nice to be able to talk to a resident, even one time, and then they feel empowered to do something that they’ve believed they can’t just because of the perceived technological gap with older populations,” she says. “It’s nice to empower them and staff, too, to better utilize technology to make everyone’s experiences better.”
The MDMS program at Bridgewater positions students for careers in the expanding digital communications field by having them study the key characteristics of interactive digital media, learn to design messages based on best practices and data analysis, develop audio and video productions and more. A communication, culture and technology major at Bridgewater, Saxton says the MDMS program appealed most to her because of how interdisciplinary the classes were. The coursework and experience of working directly with clients in the community made her degree applicable to many job markets.
“A lot of people think that once you get into a graduate program, you’re locked into that career forever. But the MDMS program is locking yourself into an experience that will let you go in a multitude of directions,” Saxton says. “Now looking back, I can’t believe I did all of that while I was in school, but I am so thankful because I would not be where I am today without it.”